Choosing Inks ...
but which one is the right one?

It's easy to get confused when choosing inks as there is a vast quantity out there 

There is an ink to suit all papers and card, and some beautiful distressing inks to age your creations.

But how do you know which ink is the correct one to use?

It is sometimes confusing to know which is which ... especially if you are new to card making.

So lets look at some of the ones available to you... but remember there are many different brands  ... so read the label carefully when choosing inks to get the the correct one for your needs.

In general  Dye Inks are water based and quick drying.  They come in small felt pads, and these are suitable for use with an absorbent cardstock or paper, so that the ink will soak into the card.

They can be used to stamp out your images but because they soak into the card the image can fade over time. Look for a dye based ink that is Archival and that means it won't fade.


Distress Inks are a water based dye ink and  specifically designed to work well with extra water such as a Spritzer.

Because of their high color content they can be used to create some fabulous effects on card. or to ink the edges to give definition and they blend well with each other.


Solvent Inks  are quick drying and can be used to stamp onto Non Porous surfaces such as Acetate, Wood, Glass and Metal and  they  also come in different colours.

They are a permanent ink so be careful where you add it as it will mark your furniture if you don't add some scrap paper under your work.

They will stain your stamps too and so maybe not a good idea to use with your clear ones plus the solvent could damage the stamp over time.

Don't use this type of ink if you are working with Alcohol Marker Pens as they will bleed into the nib and spoil it.


Pigment Inks are slow drying and  are on small foam pads.

They are ideal if you want to heat emboss as they will stay workable for longer.

They sit on the surface of the card and so allow the embossing powder to stay in place as you heat it.

They are not really suitable if you are stamping on glossy or coated card because the ink will just sit on top. and you may need to heat set it before you can move on to the next step.

So check the information about the ink pad to make sure it suits the project you're doing. 


Watermark Inks  are used with embossing powders or Mica Powders and they are sticky Pigment ink.

Because they are clear you won't be able to see it on your card but it means that you can add any colour of powder to it. 

It produces some really pretty effects with Mica Powders especially on dark card.


Chalk Inks  are another Pigment Ink and they give a soft matte finish when they dry.

They can be blended together to give some really pretty effects and are a good choice for the new card maker.


Alcohol Inks   are something special and they are very quick drying.  The have many vibrant colours and they can be used on many different surfaces.

Beautiful backgrounds can be created with these on Acetate, Mirror Card and Glass.

Some important facts to remember about Choosing inks ....

The texture of the card will affect the image. If the stamp isn't able to lie flat on the surface it can't make contact with the card so parts of the image won't  print  properly, and this may spoil the effect.  No matter how good your ink!

Store you ink pads with the lids on to stop them drying out.

Only re-ink your pads with the same color and brand as the original one

I read so many times that ink pads should be stored up side down and that is not always the case.

For instance the Big 'N Juicy pads have five different colors on the one pad.

If you store them any other way other then flat and the correct way up you will ruin the pads as all the colors will run together ...  and all you will have is one big muddy mess in the lid.

Clean your rubber stamp before changing the color to avoid contaminating your ink pads.


Very important about choosing inks to people who like to color....

Water colouring then use a permanent Solvent Based ink.

Alcohol Marker Pens which are solvent based ... then use a Water based ink other wise the solvent in the pen will mix with the solvent in the ink pad and ruin the nib of your pens.

Colouring In

Distressing Inks

Blending Tool


Rubber Stamps

Easy Projects

Cardmaking Materials


Useful Resources

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